ARIZONA NEWS

Watch: Donald Trump participates in town hall event at Phoenix church

Jun 6, 2024, 1:56 PM | Updated: 4:03 pm

PHOENIX – Former President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, appeared at a town hall-style event at a Phoenix church on Thursday afternoon.

The livestreamed event took place one week after a New York jury found Trump guilty on 34 felony charges involving falsified business records to cover up hush money payments to Stormy Daniels, the porn actor who said she had sex with the married Trump in 2006.

Trump responded defiantly to the verdict last week, but Thursday was the first time he spoke directly to swing-state voters who will decide the November election.

Here’s what we know about Trump’s first visit to Arizona since an October 2022 rally in Mesa for Republican midterm election candidates:

When/where will Donald Trump appear in Phoenix on Thursday?

“Chase the Vote: A Town Hall with Special Guest President Donald J. Trump” is taking place at Dream City Church at 13613 N. Cave Creek Road.

Doors opened at 10 a.m., and the event was scheduled to start at 2 p.m.

Tickets could be requested online on a first-come, first-served basis, with a limit of two per mobile phone number.

What is the weather forecast for Thursday?

While the event is indoors, attendees had to spend time in line under a blazing sun on what was expected to be Phoenix’s hottest day of 2024 so far.

As of around 1:30 a.m., the Phoenix Fire Department said 11 people had been transported from the site for heat exhaustion.

The National Weather Service was predicting that Phoenix could break the record high for the date of 111 degrees. The temperature hit 100 degrees around 10:30 a.m. and 110 three hours later.

An excessive heat warning is in effect for the Valley and much of the southwestern U.S.

Who is hosting Trump’s Phoenix town hall?

Trump’s Phoenix town hall is sponsored by Turning Point PAC and Turning Point Action. Turning Point Action is the political arm of Turning Point USA, the conservative political advocacy group founded by Charlie Kirk.

Kirk is listed as host of the town hall. He said Trump will take questions directly from Arizona voters.

“Now is exactly the right moment for the president to speak directly to voters in State 48, and around the country, in this unique town hall format where the president shines so brightly,” Kirk said in a press release.

What will the former president talk about?

While it appears audience questions will dictate the subject matter, it’s not clear what the screening process will be.

However, Valley political consultant Chuck Coughlin expects organizers to create a friendly environment during Trump’s Phoenix town hall.

“It’s a highly choreographed event that Turning Point’s going to assemble for him. They’ll know everybody in the room. They’ll have questions assigned to people, and it will be a very made-for-TV appearance for the president,” Coughlin, president and CEO of Phoenix public affairs firm HighGround, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday.

Coughlin said to expect plenty of talk about immigration and inflation, along with attacks on President Joe Biden’s policies.

But he thinks Trump will avoid the hot-button topic of abortion.

“I would be surprised if he talks about the reproductive rights issues very much. It’s not a winning issue for them right now,” Coughlin said.

What intriguing storylines surround Trump’s visit to Arizona?

Hours before Trump is scheduled to speak, Jake Hoffman, a Republican state senator who is also a top Turning Point consultant, will be arraigned for his role in an alleged plot to overturn Trump’s 2020 loss in Arizona. Hoffman is accused of signing a document falsely claiming to represent Arizona in the Electoral College. He was indicted in April along with 10 other alleged fake electors and seven Trump associates who are accused of orchestrating the conspiracy.

Additionally, Coughlin said he’ll be paying close attention to how GOP Senate candidate Kari Lake is treated Thursday.

“The interesting thing that I’ll be looking for tomorrow is to see where Kari Lake is,” Coughlin said during Wednesday’s interview.

“Is she up on stage with him? Is she introduced with him? Is she out in front of the rope line? Is she not around him? Is she not even invited? There’s an interesting question because of all the discussions that have been going on around Lake’s troubles with … Trump and is he supporting her.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Heidi Hommel and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

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Watch: Donald Trump participates in town hall event at Phoenix church